May 2, 2019
AstralBread (All reviews)
I need to start with a lengthy quote from Richard Feynman:
“In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they've arranged to imitate things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas—he's the controller—and they wait for the airplanes to land. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land. So I call these things cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they're missing something essential, because the planes don't land.”

This here is a cargo cult anime. Specifically, a cargo cult imitation of “symbolic” and “deep” anime. You might believe this show actually means something - if you’re a character in The Emperor’s New Clothes, or maybe a literature teacher operating on a “blue curtains symbolize the protagonist’s inner turmoil” logic. But it doesn’t. It’s just a bunch of random flashy crap thrown in together to imitate other works that have real symbolism in them - 2deep4you bait. This show is personally insulting to me as someone who actually likes entertainment that can be broadly defined as Art House, because it validates the opinion that “Art House” is nothing but pretentious pseudo-deep wankery putting on airs to distract from its creative bankruptcy. Actually, only a third of the show is pretentious flashy crap.
The other third is literal crap - as in, scatological “humor” cringy to anyone who’ve outgrown the phase where hearing the word “butthole” sends them into hysterical laughter. Oh, I should elaborate that it isn’t humor that we, the audience, are supposed to laugh at - it’s humor done at our expense. The purpose of all the gross-out stuff in the show is exactly that - to gross us out. It’s the artistic equivalent of leaving a flaming poop bag on the porch, ringing the bell and running.
Wonder what the last third is? Stock footage. Yes, fucking stock footage. Welcome to 1970s, where anime are piss-poor children’s cartoon that have up to 25% of the episode taken up by the reused footage of some transformation sequence because they literally don't have money to draw more scenes. Except in this case, money is not the problem, lack of talent is. Again, “creative bankruptcy” is the only adequate description. And the fact that some people go through mental gymnastics to somehow defend the practice of literally copypasting already existing material as some sort of “style” is just pathetic. I guess every recap episode ever was the true pinnacle of the art of animation all along.

Well, so far everything I’ve said applies to any anime directed by Ikuhara, and this is supposed to be a Sarazanmai review, but that’s exactly the point - there is literally nothing in this show that isn’t a rehash of Utena/Penguindrum/The-third-one-Kuma-something-I-couldn’t-bother-to-look-it-up-it’s-the-same-shit-anyway. Its name should be Ikuhara Anime: The Animation (Part 4), because that fraud has a single bucket list of ideas that he just keeps reusing for the last 30 years. Let me do you a favor - search for “Ikuhara bingo” on google pictures and take a couple of seconds to study the results. Congratulations, you’ve seen all of the Ikuhara-directed anime and no longer need to expose youself to this literal toxic waste.

I would give this a negative score if I could. It’s not just bad, it is the opposite of art and the world is a worse place because it exists.